Message from Father Langan, January 8-9

January 8-9

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    Not too long ago a catchy little advertisement mentioned a “gift that keeps on giving”.  Though I cannot recall what merchandise it referred to, I like to apply that understanding to the precious First of Seven Gifts given to us, namely Baptism.  As we celebrate Our Lord’s Baptism in the Jordan by His cousin John, it is only fitting that we contemplate our own Baptism and all that has come subsequently in our lives as a result of it.  The Son of the Father has made us a child of God, restoring our fallen human nature to a life of grace.  Original sin and actual sin (if we are baptized after the age of reason) is washed away and we become a member of God’s family on earth, that family being the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ.  We remember that Christ always leads the way. He sanctifies the element of water to be the means by which we are re-born into the life of grace and henceforth we bear the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the depths of our souls.  From then our new identity is Christian.  Our baptism starkly reminds us who we are, followers of Jesus Christ with a purpose, and a destiny, and a mission to live what we are.   Indeed that is a tall order which call only be fulfilled when we receive the unending infusion of grace that comes from the other Sacraments to our mission, most especially the Holy Eucharist.

    Tomorrow we return, for the next eight weeks, to Ordinary Time.  We go about our ordinary routines with the extraordinary grace of God to assist us.  Always be mindful that you are His light in the world and the salt of the earth as a beloved son and daughter of God.

     My sincere and ever-grateful thanks to all who gave so generously to your Parish this Christmas season. I am also very thankful to those who have kindly and generously offered gifts to me and Father Dominic.  We are humbled by your thoughtfulness and remembrance.  May the Good Lord reward you for taking such good care of your priests.

Blessings Upon All As We Forge Ahead In This New Year,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, January 1-2, 2022

January 1-2, 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

     The Solemnities of our Faith pass quickly this year because they fall on Saturdays.  We barely have time to catch our breath when we move on to the next celebration and contemplate the significance of what just happened.  Time and space march on without our permission and we are reminded of that modern axiom, “just go with the flow”. Today we celebrate the Epiphany, the manifestation of the coming of humanity’s Savior for all peoples at all times.  There is a word for that phrase “all peoples at all times”  it’s called Catholic!  The message of the Lord’s coming is for everyone.   Sometimes we wrongly think that our Faith is a gift for a select group.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The presence of the Magi at the feet of the newborn God-man dispels that false notion.  Indeed we take great comfort and consolation in the Faith we hold so dear but the very nature of this Faith is that we communicate it and share it with all we meet.

      We learn from Mary that the Good News has to be proclaimed to the whole world.  Lowly though she was she was not timid or fearful when it came to making Christ known.  When these illustrious men from the East presented themselves they were welcomed to reverence and adore the Presence of God in human flesh and wonder what this glorious mystery might unfold.  They have represented us, the Gentile world, who are now most privileged to receive the Good News and embrace it.  Surely these wise men had something wonderful to bring back home and no doubt their priming the East for the Savior’s  coming to all humankind.

    We are no less wise than these mysterious men if we too follow their good example… We come to adore and reverence Jesus Christ primarily at Holy Mass, but also in the Eucharistic Chapel we are so blessed to have.  As you begin this new civil year you have hope that things will get better, whether in your own life or in this beloved nation of ours and globally.  Come to adore, come to reverence, come to pray and ask God to unleash heavenly grace to cure our ills and bestow peace upon a weary world.

Blessings Upon You and Yours in this New Year,

Father Langan

P.S.  Remember that there is a special blessing on homes and families during Epiphany tide.  Over the main doorway of your homes your priests or parents invoke God’s grace for the new Year with the inscription in chalk: 20 + C+M +B+22.  The numerals consecrate the New Year.  The initials remind us of the names of the magi–Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar– and also stand for the Latin motto Christus mansionem benedicat (May Christ bless this Home)  Also Jordan water is sprinkled asking God to purify the home and remind us of our Baptism.

Mass Schedule, Solemnity of Mary

Mass Schedule for the Solemnity of Mary (Please note it is not a Holy Day of Obligation since it falls on a Saturday):

Vigil Masses (Dec. 31): 4:00 (St. Bernard’s)

5:30 (St. Mary Magdalen)

Sat. Morning (Jan. 1): 8:00 (St. Mary Magdalen)

9:00 (St. Joseph’s)

Message from Father Langan, December 26

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Hopefully all have been enraptured in the grace of celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.  That heavenly joy continues during the Christmas season and though we seem to skip from one feast to another rapidly, we need to contemplate the mystery of God’s plan for our salvation.   Yesterday we celebrated the union of heaven and earth in Christ our God- made- man, today we meditate on where and how that miracle took place–in the beauty of family life! 

None of us are meant to have a solitary existence.  Just as God Himself is a community of Persons so too are, we made to live in loving communication within the serenity of family life.  Unfortunately, many families today are under great distress for innumerable reasons.  We even see the Holy Family experiencing trials and difficulties in seeking to fulfill God’s purpose and plan.    Mary and Joseph, poor and insignificant in the eyes of the world, were not deterred because of their faith and trust in God.  They always sought to do God’s will and not their own.  Would we ever be singing that beautiful hymn: ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem,” if Mary and Joseph relied upon their own will rather than God’s.

Many lessons from the Holy Family are before us today.  Obedience to God, obedience on the part of children when their parents are obedient to the Commandments make for  truly healthy and holy families.   Parents must ask themselves how they have been obedient to God if they desire their children to be obedient to them.  It’s a no-brainer.

When we look at society and culture as a whole, where are the building-blocks?  They are the families that make up our society.  If families are “sick” the society is guaranteed to be sick.   Isn’t that what we are experiencing today?  When God is marginalized or totally out of the picture and flagrantly disobeyed what can we expect of our future especially for our children.

God is calling us to re-boot before it’s too late.  May our contemplation of the Holy Family and our desire to imitate them bring about a renewal of family life rooted in God and loyal to the Commandments.

With Blessings, 

Father Langan

Christmas Mass Schedule-2021

Christmas Eve:

4:00 PM St. John the Evangelist

6:00 PM St. Bernard, Beach Lake

9:00 PM St. John the Evangelist

Christmas Day:

7:30 AM St. Mary Magdalen

9:00 AM St. Joseph, Rileyville

10:30 AM St. John the Evangelist

The Feast of the Holy Family (Sunday, Dec. 26):

7:30 AM St. Mary Magdalen

8:30 AM St. Bernard, Beach Lake

9:00 AM St. Joseph, Rileyville

10:30 AM St. John the Evangelist

Message from Father Langan, December 18-19

December 18-19

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    We have come to the final Sunday of Advent and the anticipation of celebrating the Birthday of Our Lord will soon be upon us.  One of the ways of participating in the joy of this holy season is the exchange of gifts  We give in order to show our appreciation or our love and devotion to those close to us.  We try to make our gifts as personal and meaningful as we possibly can and sometimes we are right on target and other times we may have given a gift that evokes a puzzled look on the recipient’s face.  Surely we always mean well.

Sometimes the world is puzzled when we proclaim that God became man and has made His dwelling in our midst.  For some it is a difficult message to swallow and when we offer this gift of Good News it may not always be well received.  Nonetheless it should never curtail our desire to give what others need the most, i.e. to know how much God loves them.

      When we reflect on what God has given us we can only respond with great generosity.  As St. Elizabeth responded to the visitation of her cousin Mary: “Who am i that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”  all of us can ask the same question in regards to our Lord.  And yet He has come to all of us and for all of us.  Not with puzzled faces but with joy-filled hearts we embrace the Gift that the Father has sent us and with gratitude give what we have received.

May you and yours have a Blessed and Merry Christmas,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, December 11-12

December 11-12

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Glorious feast of our Lord’s Nativity is coming and the vesture of the day, marked by the color rose, reminds us that He Who is the light of the world comes to dispel the darkness of sin and its consequences. We indeed rejoice on this Gaudete Sunday.  Rejoicing comes easy when we are unburdened from our sins and so we heed the herald’s call for repentance.  People asked the Baptist:  “What are we to do?”  In other words, How are we to get ready? And he clearly reminds them that there must be a change of heart and mind.

We have the wonderful advantage of living in anticipation of the Second Coming of the Lord.  We think of the blessed gifts we have already received from the Lord, the Holy Eucharist, Reconciliation and all of the Seven Sacraments.  Before Jesus came the ancients had the Word of God and His Holy Law.  We are so privileged to have God Himself in our midst.  What more could we possibly ask for?

Perhaps what we could ask for is the return to the Faith of those who have drifted from it.  Christ and Him alone is the reason to have faith and in His unbounded generosity to us has given, in the fullness of the Catholic Church, all we need.   Therefore let us rejoice, and as we make our final preparations for the celebration of Christmas, repent and find solace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Thanks to all who prepared and beautifully decorated Holy Family Hall for the reception of Father Dominic and our new parishioners.

Please remember that this coming Wednesday evening in Holy Family Hall at 7 PM,   we will have the first of our listening sessions in preparation for the upcoming synod.  In preparation you are encouraged to review on the Diocese of Scranton website the questions that will be addressed.  All are welcome to attend and participate.

With Blessings,

Father Langan